growing and using fresh herbs - lemon basil water, and pesto

i love herbs. i love having beautiful plants that smell so heavenly and are so useful both in my food and in my medicines. this year i seeded many different herbs, but so far have only had luck with my basils - lots of sweet genovese basil, and lemon basil as well. they're planted in between the tomatoes and peppers, and some in small patches by themselves, and i have harvested several shopping bags full of leaves already. 

basil is great because you get to harvest so often throughout the season - it'll stop growing if you let it flower and go to seed, but if you harvest up to 40% of the plant before letting it flower, it'll keep branching and growing back until frost comes. so here are some pictures and a bit of detail on what i've done with my basil.

freshly harvested lemon basil. it's distinct with its matte, almost silvery leaves and light, lemon scent.
 leaves picked off the stem and ready to be put into water with a bit of vodka for preservation.

leaves in water and a bit of vodka, sealed tight in a canning jar.

well, the jar looked pretty, but after two weeks it was too late for this project. the basil leaves turned rotten, and when i opened the jar it smelled like a diaper. yep, seriously - and no, i don't know why it specifically smelled like a diaper. it just did. so, there goes a jar full of lemon basil leaves out to compost... better luck next time, i hope.

chopping sweet genovese basil for pesto
a 'basil cake' - what is supposed to be formed when you smush your chopped leaves together with the knife, if you've chopped them small enough. this according to the recipe 'how to make pesto like an italian grandmother'. clearly mine isn't as fine as theirs, but eh - it worked.

i put the first batch of pesto into this ice cube tray to freeze for later. the next batch will be used on a homemade pizza for my birthday weekend.

and, here are the frozen pesto cubes, ready to be carefully placed (not touching each other) in a freezer bag until you're ready to grab a bit and toss it into your recipe. nux thinks i should have left them in the ice cube tray, but i want to see how they do like this. will report future findings later on.
the 'stuff to post about' list:
-herb harvesting/infusions/use of fresh, wild herbs/tinctures
-making pants/making clothing
-growing herbs in the garden
-growing veggies, garden details
-my work vs. hogwarts
-burn salve
-the view from laundry day
-awesome natural builder blogs
-the search for land/money/building credit
-dental health/sustainable toothcare
-sustainable clothes washing
-sustainable home/dishes/cleaning
-embroidering project (jeans)